People & Places

Super wolf moon eclipse fully visible in the Corridor

What does 'super wolf moon' mean?

A total lunar eclipse, known as the Super Blood Wolf Moon, in Tiffin on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019. A “super” moon occurs when the moon is especially close to earth, while a “wolf moon” is the traditional name for the full moon of January, when the howling of wolves was a sound that helped define winter, according to The Farmers’ Almanac. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
A total lunar eclipse, known as the Super Blood Wolf Moon, in Tiffin on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019. A “super” moon occurs when the moon is especially close to earth, while a “wolf moon” is the traditional name for the full moon of January, when the howling of wolves was a sound that helped define winter, according to The Farmers’ Almanac. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
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A super wolf blood moon eclipse may sound like an omen straight out of a medieval fantasy novel, but it’s actually just a rare celestial event.

Iowans were some of the many watchers of the super wolf blood moon eclipse late Jan. 20. But what do all of those words in its title mean?

“Super”

The full moon was at its closest point to Earth in its orbit last night, called perigee. While at perigee, the Moon appears slightly bigger and brighter from our perspective on Earth, so it’s often referred to as a “supermoon,” according to NASA.

“Wolf”

January’s full moon has been traditionally called the “wolf moon.”

According to National Geographic, Native Americans and medieval Europeans named January’s full moon the “wolf moon.” After the howling of hungry wolves during winter.

“Blood”

A “blood moon” is the term given to the red tint that the moon displays when it is in Earth’s shadow, according to NASA.

“Eclipse”

There was no need to find eclipse glasses for this astronomical event.

According to NASA, the eclipse was visible in both North and South America, as well as in western parts of Europe and Africa.

The total lunar eclipse was caused by the alignment of the Sun, Earth and Moon.

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